The S660 convertible is considered a "mini" by Japan's car standards. The car is 2 feet shorter than the petite Mazda Miata MX-5 convertible.
"We're looking at it intently for North America," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, in a recent interview. "We want some spice in the lineup."
Mendel said a decision to bring the car here has not been made yet. No U.S. pricing strategy has been announced.
The S660 uses a midengine, rear-wheel-drive configuration. The car has a low center of gravity as well as a 45/55 front/rear weight distribution. The top rolls back, and it can be detached and stored in the trunk. The S660's width is nearly identical to the Miata.
The S660 is the successor in Japan to the Honda Beat. Honda S660 sales began in Japan in April.
Mendel said the car is not intended to be a Miata MX-5 competitor.
The S660 is equipped with a 63-horsepower, 0.66-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. A 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine is rumored for the United States. In comparison, the Miata has a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Several issues need to be addressed before a decision can be reached about importing the S660, Mendel said.
"It's got to be commercially viable. It's got to serve a purpose from a brand standpoint," Mendel said. "What does it do for the brand?"
Honda previously sold the Honda S2000, a two-seat, rear-wheel-drive roadster, in the U.S. Production ended in 2009.
Edmunds says: With a heavily updated mainstream lineup, it could be a good time for Honda to add a brand-building vehicle like the S660.